Every 4th of July, my mom gets dessert duty at our friends’ cookout. The first year that I helped, we made a triple-layer (red, white and blue) cake, decorated by moi in frosting fireworks. A few years ago, we made Neopolitans with blueberries and raspberries. So last week, I recieved an email saying, “The theme for this year’s cookout is ‘tubular’ – what kind of desserts can I make that are tubular??” I didn’t have an answer for her. After much deliberation, she decided on Apple Pie Burritos and Homemade Twinkies – you can’t get much more American than that!

Apple Pie Burritos
6 (or more) Granny Smith apples (or some other tart apple)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon (more or less to taste)
~3 tbsp flour
3/4 cup butter (1.5 sticks)
8″ flour tortillas

Peel the apples. Grate into a bowl with the coarse side of a cheese grater. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together. Make sure it’s the color you want it to be. Not too much cinnamon, but enough. Mix the flour into the sugar and cinnamon. Throw in some salt – 1/2 tsp or so. Put sugar mix into the apples and stir them together.

Wrap the tortillas in plastic wrap and nuke them for 30 seconds or so. You want them to be pliable for wrapping. Place a warm tortilla on your work surface. Lightly butter each side.

Note the consistency of the apples – little shreds. Slices broke the tortilla.

Put the filling on the bottom third of the tortilla and roll like a burrito.

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’…

Place on a cookie sheet (on parchment paper) and sprinkle cinnamon &
sugar on the buttered outside of the burrito. (I’m using a tea
strainer because it’s easy).

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes – until they look lovely and golden brown.

I heard these were quite the hit!

Homemade Twinkies
For the cake:
1lb pound cake mix
4 egg whites
2/3 cup water


1 cup whole milk (I used 1/2 evap milk and 1/2 water)
5 tbsp. flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 tsp vanilla

Other stuff you will need:
Pastry bag (or Ziploc with a corner cut off)
Press&Seal wrap

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. To make the cake molds: Find a small, longish jar to use for the mold. Take a piece of aluminum foil that is about 12″ X 14″. Fold it over twice (once in each direction). Wrap the foil around the jar so that it is like a little boat (long side is opened – see picture). Make 12 of these and put them in a pan or on a cookie sheet or jellyroll pan (I used a pan so that they wouldn’t oooooggg over the sides). Spray the molds with cooking spray.

2. For the Cake: Ignore the box instructions. Mix the cake mix with the water. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Fold them into the cake batter, then beat on medium speed til smooth. Pour the batter into the molds, filling them about about 3/4 full.

3. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a chopstick (or toothpick) poked halfway through comes out clean.

4. Take the cakes out of the molds and let cool.

5. Make the filling: Mix flour with milk and boil until thick. It will be very thick. Set aside to cool. Beat the milk/flour stuff until fluffy and add other ingredients one at a time beating well after each addition.

6. Prep the cakes: Take a chopstick and poke 3 holes in the bottom (it was the top when you baked it) of each “cake, going only about 1/2 way through. Angle the chopstick in so that you can dig a little channel between the holes.

7. Do the filling: Put whatever tip you want on the pastry bag. Fill it with the filling. Squirt the filling into a hole, angling it so that it travels down the channel. Fill all the holes. Fill all of the twinkies.

8. Wrap the twinkies in Press&Seal wrap for at least a few hours so that the cake becomes more moist.

9. THEN stack them as shown. Since the ingredients in this are not mined or artificial, you can even call this a FOOD PYRAMID!

I’ve been informed that the twinkies were a HUGE hit with all the men at the party.